Most designers and photographers spend many hours in Photoshop, whether for designing or editing photos. In your client projects, you may receive photos that need to be touched up, or you may be a photographer yourself.
Photoshop brings the endless potential for photo editing, and one of the best ways to make use of Photoshop’s capabilities is to use actions. Photoshop actions are useful for quickly completing repetitive tasks, like performing the same steps to achieve a specific photo effect.
Countless actions can be purchased or downloaded for free, but finding the best high-quality actions can take quite some time. With that in mind, this post showcases fifty different action sets that are all available for free.
The actions showcased here will allow you to create all kinds of different types of effects for your photos from matte and film looks, to vintage effects, to stunning black & white conversions, and even HDR. With these actions in your arsenal, you will be able to save time while editing photos, and you also will not need to scour the web to find high-quality free actions.
Browse through this collection, find the ones that suit your needs, and try them with your photos. You’ll find that you can create some fantastic effects in very little time with the help of the right actions.
Free Vintage & Retro Photoshop Actions
Turn your colorized photos to black and white and then apply a subtle vintage effect. The action works with Photoshop as well as Lightroom.
Animated Retro Vintage Film Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This action adds a vintage retro animated look and feel to your photos. It can also be applied to videos and includes 24 different colors, which are applied non-destructively.
As the name suggests, this free Photoshop action is perfect for landscape photos that you want to style to appear vintage.
Apply the faded look similar to Instagram filters with this collection of 75 retro and film effects for Adobe Photoshop. Actions are easy to use and customize.
This Photoshop action pack contains ten actions that will make your photos appear more retro and vintage. The actions mimic Instagram filters.
Vintage Art Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
This Photoshop action makes use of various brushes, filters, and effects to create a vintage art look. It works well with action photos.
This collection of Photoshop actions will make any photo appear aged and give it that old-time look and feel. Includes several colorized effects and a subtle light leak effect.
Apply a nice vintage look to your photos with the help of Photoshop and this beautiful set of Photoshop actions. The actions work with Photoshop CC versions.
Wedding photographers rejoice as this free Photoshop action will allow you to add a vintage effect to your wedding photos. The collection comes with a total of 15 individual actions.
With this collection of Photoshop actions, you will be able to quickly generate vintage, lomo, and retro effects and apply them to your photos.
Free Film & Cinema Effects Photoshop Actions
Try this Photoshop action if you want to apply an old-film look to your photos. The action supports Photoshop CC and Lightroom 4, and higher versions.
Vintage Film Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This pack of 10 Photoshop actions will turn any photo into a vintage-looking photograph. The pack supports non-destructive editing.
This Photoshop action, called Warm Cinema, will give a cozy and cinematic look to your photos. This action is part of a more extensive collection and speeds up your workflow considerably.
Try this Photoshop action if you want your photos to have a cinematic look and feel. This collection is perfect for bloggers, wedding, and portrait photographers.
This Photoshop action produces an interesting vintage effect with brilliant, vibrant colors. The action works with Photoshop as well as Lightroom.
Make your photos come to life with this Film Effect Photoshop action. The action makes your colors pop and applies them non-destructively.
Free Color Effects Photoshop Actions
Double Color Exposure Actions (with Envato Elements)
Create a striking effect with your photos, text, and other graphic designs thanks to this collection of beautiful and bold double color exposure actions. The collection includes seven different color styles.
This Photoshop action is bound to make your photos stand out as it adds a subtle touch of crimson to any photo. The action is easy to adjust and apply.
Color Fusion Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
Add pops of neon coloring to any photo with this Color Fusion Photoshop action from Envato Elements. The action is applied non-destructively and can be adjusted to your liking.
Choose this Photoshop action if you want to make your food photography pop. The action is applied non-destructively and can easily be adjusted.
Color Dust Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Create a stunning color dust explosion effect with this Photoshop action. It will instantly transform your photos and make them appear more dynamic.
With this action for Photoshop, you will be able to apply a dark and somewhat haunted look to your photos. A great choice to help you create a dark, moody look and feel.
Apply an interesting copper look to your photos with the help of this free Photoshop action. You can tweak and adjust the action to your needs.
If you want to apply a soft, almost pastel-like look to your photos, this collection of Photoshop actions is a must. The action works best for portrait and outdoor photos.
The Silver Photoshop action will transform your colorized photos into black and white. This effect works well with a variety of photos and is applied non-destructively.
Add an instant autumn glow to any photo by using this free Photoshop action. The action works non-destructively and works best with landscape and nature photos.
Enhance your sunset photos or give any other photo a warm, golden glow. This action works best with nature and outdoor photography.
Free Special Effects Photoshop Actions
Tiny planets are all the rage but creating them from scratch is not easy. This Photoshop action will change that and allow you to transform any photo into your very own tiny planet.
Dust Storm Animation Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Make your photos appear more dynamic with these Photoshop actions. The action works with Photoshop CC.
Ever wanted to turn your photos into fun mosaics? Well, now you can with the help of this Photoshop action! The pack includes a total of 10 actions.
This Photoshop action allows you to quickly and non-destructively apply a fun glitch effect to your photos. The actions are easy to use and include video instructions.
Similar to the action above, this Photoshop action collection will pixelate your photos. Perfect for creating unique backgrounds. The collection also includes frame and border styles.
Try this Photoshop action if you want to produce a cool-looking dispersion effect. Make any photo appear as if it’s dispersing. Play the action and make adjustments as necessary.
Turn any photo into a comic poster using this Comic Poster Photoshop action. The action works in Photoshop and newer as well as Photoshop CC editions.
Firestorm Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Add an interesting effect to your portraits and make them appear as though they are disintegrating into a giant firestorm. The action works in Photoshop CS4 and newer versions.
This free Photoshop action will add a subtle glitch effect to your photos, making them mimic the look of old VHS tapes. The action works non-destructively and you can make adjustments.
With this pack of Photoshop actions, you can easily recreate the double exposure effect without starting from scratch.
Free HDR Effects Photoshop Actions
Add a strong and bold HDR effect to your photos with the help of the HDR Photoshop action. The pack contains a non-destructive action so you can safely revert back if needed.
HDR Pro Photoshop Action (with Envato Elements)
Try this Photoshop action if you want to add a sharp look to your photos. The action supports Photoshop CS4 and newer versions and is applied non-destructively.
Use this Photoshop action to open up the dynamic range of your photo and apply a beautiful and bold effect. The action works with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
HDR Stock Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This set of 18 different Photoshop actions will allow you to quickly reproduce an HDR effect on any of your photos. The pack supports non-destructive editing.
This beautiful Photoshop action will apply a stunning HDR effect to your photos. It works well with all kinds of photos, especially nature and outdoor photography.
Free Black & White Effects Photoshop Actions
This set of Photoshop actions will allow you to turn your photos into black and white works of art. There are several actions included which allow you to turn photos more white, more black, give them a more faded look, and more.
Black White Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This collection of Photoshop actions contains a total of 31 actions which are applied non-destructively and work exceptionally well with portrait photography.
Bold Black & White Photoshop Action (Free)
Turn photos to black and white and preserve those deep blacks with the help of this Photoshop action.
Turn your photos into black and white but with a hint of color. This produces a nice, vintage effect and makes your photos pop.
If you want to apply high contrast to your photos and turn them black and white, don’t miss out on this Photoshop action. It works with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Free Matte Effect Photoshop Actions
Apply a matte effect easily to your photos with the help of this Matte Photoshop action. The action is free and works both with Lightroom and Photoshop.
Matte Blogger Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
If you’re a blogger and want to make your photos have a matte look, try this Photoshop action. An excellent choice for fashion, travel, and lifestyle bloggers.
With the help of this free Photoshop action, you will be able to quickly and easily apply a subtle matte effect to your photos. The action comes as a Photoshop action and Lightroom preset.
This action will apply a warm matte look to your photos, making them appear retro and vintage. It works well with portraits, as well as landscape and nature photos.
This set of matte actions will not only add a matte effect but will also fade out colors and produce an interesting effect. This action is perfect for nature and landscape photos.
If you’re looking for a deep matte look, be sure to give this action a try. It’s compatible with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
The Vintage Matte Photoshop action will make it easy to add a lovely vintage effect to your photos. The action supports non-destructive editing.
Free Light Leak Effects Photoshop Actions
Add bright light leak to any photo with the help of the Photoshop actions in this pack. The action creates layers and supports non-destructive editing.
Light Leaks Bundle (with Envato Elements)
This Light Leaks bundle from Envato Elements contains 32 actions to add various light leak effects to your photos. The collection works well with landscapes with bright scenes and even portraits.
Add a touch of class to your portraits with the help of this Photoshop action. The action contains five different effects and two light leaks that can be combined for a unique look.
Free Golden Hour Photoshop Actions
Use this Photoshop action whenever you need to make a photo look like it was taken during the golden hour. It works well with cityscapes and nature photos.
The Golden Hour Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
Envato Elements brings you this set of 12 Photoshop actions that will produce various golden hour effects. The collection works great on nature photos.
This Golden Glow action will lighten your photo and give it a golden tint. Use it with landscape and nature photos, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other types of photos as well.
Free Sketch & Pencil Effect Photoshop Actions
Make your photos appear sketched using this Pencil Drawing Photoshop action. The action works non-destructively and produces a black and white sketch.
Pencil Sketch Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
This Photoshop action will turn any photo into a realistic black and white sketch. The set contains 15 unique actions which are applied non-destructively.
This set of Photoshop actions makes it easy to apply the sketch effect with a single click. You can even adjust the result to your liking.
Another set of sketching Photoshop actions that can be applied non-destructively and adjusted to your liking. This set is free for personal and commercial use.
Free Lomo Effects Photoshop Actions
Apply a Lomo effect to your photos and make them appear as though they were taken with a Lomography camera. The action produces a fun vintage effect.
Lomographist Photoshop Actions (with Envato Elements)
With the help of these 10 Photoshop actions, you’ll quickly make your photos appear vintage. This set of actions is compatible with Photoshop CS4 and newer.
The Lomo-Inspired Photoshop action applies a retro effect that works well with a wide variety of photos. It’s a great way to add a fun toy camera effect.
How to Install & Use Photoshop Actions
- Download and unzip the action file
- Launch Photoshop
- Go to Window > Actions
- Select Load Actions from the menu and go to the folder where you saved the unzipped action file to select it. The Action will now be installed
- To use the newly installed action, locate it in the Action panel
- Click the triangle to the left of the action name to see the list of available actions.
- Click the action you want to play and press the play button at the bottom of the Actions panel
Photoshop actions will help you transform your photos into works of art and save you time during your editing workflow. They will also help you achieve a consistent look easily instead of trying to remember all the adjustments and filters you used. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to install and use Photoshop actions:
You’re a creative talent. The last thing you probably want is to be stuck performing the same task a hundred times on different images. These Photoshop Actions are for you. With Photoshop Actions, a set of otherwise repetitive tasks can be applied automatically, freeing you up for the real work: being creative.